That is, by caricaturing the American idealistic effort in Iraq as ‘no blood for oil’ when petroleum prices skyrocketed after our removal of Saddam, and other assorted slurs, the opposition on the left, along with the failure to stabilize Iraq, helped to bring back the old Scowcroft/Baker realpolitik, and, soon to follow, the “more rubble, less trouble” school of diplomacy. ~Victor Davis Hanson

This is probably the nicest thing Hanson has said about the antiwar left in his entire life, though he does not intend it as a compliment.  He earlier credits antiwar criticism from the left with having ”almost destroyed entirely neo-conservative muscular support for democratic reformers.”  If this were true (I don’t believe that it is), I would have to buy the heads of the major antiwar organisations a drink–what a service to the country and the world they would have done had they accomplished this feat!  Seriously.  It would be a great step forward towards a sane foreign policy if all of this democracy-promotion business went right out the window.

The deep thoughts quoted above appear in Hanson’s post on Darfur and why intervention in Darfur is unlikely.  After detailing why the killing in Darfur is very bad (and it is), talking about why “something must be done” (translation: why America ought to do something–which it shouldn’t), and noting that the intervention would be relatively easy (where have we heard that one before?) he says the following odd thing:

BUT, and it is a big BUT, I am also just as equally convinced that George Bush would be attacked the minute he put a soldier on the ground by the very humanitarians who are calling him to now act on the implicit premise that since there are no American economic or security interests in Darfur, we therefore should intervene.

That’s all very interesting, except that these aren’t the people who’d be criticising Bush at all.  Not only would the folks at routinely interventionist The New Republic be thrilled, as they always are when the bombs begin to fall, but the left as a whole, except for its absolute pacifist section, would suddenly have a big problem on their hands: how can they enthusiastically support an anti-”genocide” war, which they really want to support, run by someone they despise?  They would figure out a way to pull it off.  When they say “Out of Iraq, Into Darfur,” they’re not kidding around.  They’re not just picking on Bush because they don’t like him; they want a fundamentally different kind of interventionism.  You know, the kind that makes you feel really good about supporting the killing of foreigners who never did anything to you and yours. 

Progressive politicians, pundits and movie stars would be falling over themselves in Spielberg-like enthusiasm for a morally ”pure” war to stop “genocide.”  Obama would turn on a dime from opponent of the Iraq war to enthusiast for saving Darfur, and much of the “religious left” would sing hosannas as the cruise missiles and jets pounded the janjaweed into oblivion.  They would, of course, regret the need for violence, but they would get really excited at the prospect of fighting the latest incarnation of Hitler (now going on #38, I believe).  George Clooney would go on speaking tours about supporting the troops.  The comedy would be endless.  The folks on the left would, of course, necessarily nitpick how Mr. Bush ran the intervention, just as neocon supporters of Kosovo wanted more devastation and more bloodshed and called for ground troops to be thrown into the mix “if necessary.”  Any criticisms from the humanitarian interventionist left (which does a good job dressing up as the antiwar left in Republican administration years) would arise because they would be unsatisfied with a small commitment of troops.  No mere peacekeeping or humanitarian mission for these maniacs.  No, they would be crying, “On to Khartoum! Down with the genocidal regime!  To hell with the consequences”  They would probably want a larger commitment than Mr. Bush would be willing to make, because Mr. Bush, reckless and misguided as he is, does not get into foreign conflicts when they are absolutely unrelated to any and all definitions of national security.  His definition of what constitutes national security is rather more expansive and somewhat more meaningless than that of a realist, but there is at least some consistency that this seems to be an important principle in his foreign policy.  Purely “humanitarian” interventions that do not tie into some larger theme or project hold no interest for an administration like this one (this is actually a compliment of sorts), even if the White House and the House both have the need to talk about “genocide.”

The real outrage over any Bush-led Darfur intervention would come not only from the realists and non-interventionists on the right, as you would expect, because it has nothing to do with us, does not serve our national interest (but could very possibly damage it) and isn’t “genocide” in any case, but probably also from a lot of regular ”Jacksonian” Republican pundits and voters who would not be able to fathom the need to use American military resources to stop a civil war in the Sudan when the Islamowhatsits are on the march and are coming to veil our women.  They will say, “Why are Americans dying for Darfur when we have to attack Iran?”  The neocons have succeeded in so whipping people into a frenzy about the mythical Islamofascists [jihadis are very real and very dangerous; Islamofascists as such do not exist-DL] who are simply everywhere that any diversion from World War LXXVIII would be seen as an unconscionable betrayal of America.  Whether or not it would be that bad, it would be a gross waste of military resources at a time when our armed forces are already badly strained by another all together too dippy, “humanitarian” intervention in Iraq, but you wouldn’t find a lot of folks on the left complaining about that if it was their pet project that the administration was carrying out.  Pre-emption might annoy them, but getting in the middle of a war that has literally no geopolitical ramifications whatsoever will always sound like a good time to them.